All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Copyright 2014

Updated 10/30/14

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

More than 80,000 people have viewed this page.

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2010

Winter Bird Walk- January 9
First Spring Walk- April 17
Easter Walk- April 24
Split Rock-Mother’s Day Walk- May 7 
Turtle Cove “Watch”- June 26
Raptor and Waterfowl Walk- Nov. 27
Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13
Spring Migration Walk -May 10
Fall Migration Walk-October 12Previous_Birdwalks.htmlWinter_Bird_Walk.htmlEarly_Spring_Migration_Walk.htmlEaster_Walk.htmlSplit_Rock-_Mothers_Day_Walk.htmlTurtle_Cove_%22Watch%22.htmlRaptor_and_Waterfowl_Walk.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlFall_Migration_2014.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0shapeimage_9_link_1shapeimage_9_link_2shapeimage_9_link_3shapeimage_9_link_4shapeimage_9_link_5shapeimage_9_link_6shapeimage_9_link_7shapeimage_9_link_8shapeimage_9_link_9shapeimage_9_link_10shapeimage_9_link_11shapeimage_9_link_12shapeimage_9_link_13shapeimage_9_link_14shapeimage_9_link_15shapeimage_9_link_16shapeimage_9_link_17shapeimage_9_link_18shapeimage_9_link_19shapeimage_9_link_20


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?
Pelham Bay Park Map
City Island Community
Directions Here
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html

Not a great shot, but this is one scraggly looking female Purple Finch on Turtle Cove. We don’t see too many Purple Finches here, even during migration.

My, fos, first of season, Hooded Merganser, was on Turtle Cove today. These are great birds but their presence surely means cold weather is on the way.

White-crowned Sparrows are foraging along the edges of the Orchard Beach lagoon, near the parking lot. This sparrow is mostly seen out west and south and only appear here during migration.

Sparrows Prevail, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Hooded Mergansers

If you walk through Turtle Cove or the lagoon alongside the Orchard Beach parking lot will see a variety of sparrows. White-throated and Song Sparrows are numerous but there are Field Sparrows, an occasional Savannah Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrows. I’ve been searching for Clay-colored Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow which were found last year. We did find a Clay-colored Sparrow on our last walk but I haven’t been able to relocate it.

During a Saturday excursion last week, Hunter Island was filled with Hermit Thrushes and Kinglets. It seemed that we were flushing them wherever we walked. We counted well over a hundred Hermit Thrushes. Kinglets were decorating many of the trees as we walked. We stayed on the trail but we guess that there were probably thousands on Hunter Island. Now some remain, but most have continued their journey south.

On a quick walk today, October 30, I saw a definite sign of winter, two Hooded Mergansers on the Turtle Cove pond.

The migration is waning for passerines but waterfowl are returning and soon we should have a nice variety of ducks around. Traditionally we find our first owls soon after Thanksgiving, stay tuned.

SPARROW QUIZ. Not so easy for beginners and we all get rusty after a while with these lLBJ’s, little brown jobs. Answers are linked at the bottom of the quiz.

This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, one of many on the wood chip trail near the Turtle Cove driving range. A pleasant walk when you’re not busy, lots of sparrows and other species too.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


Gadwall have returned too. They can be found around the Hunter Island lagoon. Soon a great variety of ducks will be back.

American Goldfinches, at this time of the year, have lost their bright mating plumage. I love their muted tones too.

American Black Duck have returned, lots near Orchard Beach.